Gary Legum

The Trump Administration After 100 Days: A Second-Rate Salesman Surrounded by Con Men and Losers

Saturday will mark the 100th year – sorry, the 100th day – of Donald Trump’s presidency. And what a white-knuckle ride it has been for the world.

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Trail of Broken Promises: Donald Trump's Lengthening List of Empty Lies and Idle Boasts

The pattern Donald Trump follows in making promises has been clear since he first rode that gilded escalator in Trump Tower to his presidential campaign announcement nearly two years ago. It goes something like this:

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Almost Every Single Word of Trump's Speech to Congress Was a Lie

Because so much of political punditry revolves around optics, let us dispense with those first.

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Why Democrats Have No Choice But to Block Trump's Supreme Court Nominee

Let’s get ready to ruuuuuuummmmmmble, judicial confirmation-style.

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Donald Trump Simply Doesn't Get It: His Vast Egotism Is Doing Serious Damage to America

Having been fully briefed on the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia ran an operation to meddle in America’s presidential election and elevate Donald Trump to the White House, the president-elect and his team spent the weekend doing what Republicans do: blaming Democrats for the whole mess.

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A Spirit of Petty Vengeance: Trump's Desire to Purge All Obama Appointees Could Do Major Damage

One might think an incoming president would find some middle ground between completely purging the executive branch of the pernicious influence of his predecessor and not crippling the ability of many agencies to function.

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Does Donald Trump Even Know What the Donald Trump Administration Is Up To?

Does Donald Trump even know what the Donald Trump administration is up to? If this exchange he had on Wednesday with a reporter outside his Mar-a-Lago estate is any indication, the answer is a resounding “No.”

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Trump Is Making America Great Again by Embracing Corporate Titans With Some of the Worst Outsourcing Practices

Earlier this month, Donald Trump established something called the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. This was billed as a group of business and industry leaders who would be “providing their individual views to the President—informed by their unique vantage points in the private sector—on how government policy impacts economic growth, job creation, and productivity.” The advice from this diverse group of millionaire CEOs would help the new president “implement his plan to bring back jobs and Make America Great Again.”

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Capitulation Nation: Steve Bannon's Media Rehabilitation Shows the Press Is Surrendering Without a Fight

One of the challenges for the media in covering Donald Trump’s presidency — much like the challenge of covering his campaign — will lie in avoiding the normalization of his more outré policies and personnel appointments. This is no small task when almost everything the man says and does is calibrated for outrageousness and the destruction of long-held norms in politics.

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Peak 'Crony Capitalism': Donald Trump Indulging in Corrupt Favoritism Isn’t Surprising - But So Much of It So Soon?!

Of the many, many Republican hypocrisies revealed by the party’s support for and election of Donald Trump to the presidency, we can add the charge thrown with abandon at President Obama throughout his time in office that his administration engaged in the dreaded "crony capitalism."

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Donald Trump's Transition Team Is a Sordid New Swamp of Lobbyists, Donors, Family and Republican Retreads

One could almost feel sorry for Chris Christie, if that dignity train had not left the station months ago. Tapped to lead Donald Trump’s transition team after he was passed over in favor of Mike Pence for the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket, Christie was replaced as head of the team on Friday by … Mike Pence.

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Comey the Clown: James Comey's Latest Letter to Congress Proves He and the FBI Are a Farce - Only No One Is Laughing

Thanks a lot, FBI director Emily Litella. Nine days after James Comey upended the presidential race by notifying Congress about the discovery of a cache of emails that might or might not have come from Hillary Clinton’s private email server, he returned on Sunday to echo Gilda Radner’s classic SNL character with a resounding “Never mind!”

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Donald Trump's Alpha Male Insecurity: Getting His Butt Kicked by a Girl Is Just Too Much for Him

At the heart of Donald Trump’s talk of a “rigged” election lies one incontrovertible fact that eats away at him: He is getting his butt kicked by a girl.

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In His Final Capitulation, All Mike Pence Gave Away Was His Autonomy, Integrity and Dignity

For just a fleeting moment this past weekend, it looked as if Mike Pence might escape from his decaying orbit around Donald Trump with what is left of his dignity intact.

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The Republican Nominee Is Going Down

Let us be clear about what we witnessed on that Washington University stage in St. Louis on Sunday night. It was not a debate. It was primal-scream therapy for the denizens of the right-wing fever swamps, who are watching Hillary Clinton and her alleged trail of criminality slip through their clutches again. . They have been waiting for 25 years for someone to put her in the dock and prosecute every tinfoil-hatted conspiracy theory that they have ever dredged from the depths of their minds. In Donald Trump, they finally had their cut-rate, tangerine-tinted Inspector Javert.

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Paul Ryan's Slow-Motion Downfall: Stuck Between Trump and the Tea Party

Poor, poor Paul Ryan.

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Trump Is Closing in the Polls: What It Really Means

As you read this, pollsters are preparing to release surveys conducted over the past weekend and its immediate aftermath, when Hillary Clinton made her accurate but perhaps poorly phrased comment about Donald Trump’s “deplorable” fans, then nearly passed out at a 9/11 memorial service in New York before revealing she had been trying to “power through” a case of walking pneumonia. This allowed the media to start reporting on rumors about her health, previously the province of the right-wing fever swamps from which Trump has drawn much of his support and campaign staff.

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Donald Trump's Spineless Foes: Lurking Within the Republican Party Is Deadly Silent Opposition

There is no greater profile in courage this election cycle than the conservatives who will only speak out against Donald Trump from behind the comfort of anonymity. Unless it is the avowed #NeverTrump editors who will nonetheless turn over space on their website to a convicted felon for an incoherent defense of the xenophobic sweet potato and Republican presidential nominee that amounts to “He’s not really a right-wing reactionary and anyway it’s Hillary Clinton who keeps making all the gaffes.”

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The Bondi Scandal: Somehow Teflon Trump Takes No Damage From Alleged Bribery Scheme

Donald Trump won the Republican primary largely by playing on his persona as a straight-talking businessman who scoffed at political correctness. He didn’t need to pretend to be an honorable man while trading money for influence in an opaque system that other politicians participate in even while bemoaning it. He was the answer to the political version of the question that a narrator used to ask during the opening crawl of MTV’s “The Real World”: What happens when a presidential candidate stops being polite, and starts getting real?

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Prime-Time Drama: Hillary and Trump Have First Joint Forum This Week - and It's as Crucial as the Debates

It is not a debate, but Wednesday will see the first joint appearance between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The two will appear in a one-hour primetime forum where they will take questions from an audience on national security and military affairs. It airs on both NBC and MSNBC. Adjust the color balance for pumpkins on your TV accordingly.

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Rumors Spread of a Brewing Coup Against Paul Ryan - But That's Only the Beginning

The same day that The Huffington Post reported that conservatives in the House of Representatives might attempt a January coup to oust Paul Ryan from his job as speaker, Ryan’s predecessor John Boehner posted this video to his YouTube channel. The 7-second clip shows Boehner, casually dressed in shorts and a pink golf shirt, seated behind the wheel of what might be an RV. The camera pans to the view out the front window: an empty highway unrolling towards a distant horizon. The RV’s destination may be unknown, but the optimism and freedom inherent in the vision is quintessentially American, as if Boehner were re-creating a scene from Jack Kerouac. Or at least from “About Schmidt.”

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From Booster to Adviser: Sean Hannity Has Erased His Final, Albeit Microscopic, Sliver of Impartiality

Today in Austin, Texas, Republican presidential nominee – it still feels weird to type this – Donald Trump will tape a two-hour interview with his trained news poodle Sean Hannity. The event will likely entail 120 minutes of the Fox News host offering the sentient tangelo peel open-ended softball questions from which Trump can spin out extended rants about every conspiracy theory and nasty, subversive rumor he has ever heard about Hillary Clinton, egged on by the chuckles of the live audience brought in for the private, closed-to-the-press affair.

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No, Hillary Won't Have a Mandate: If Clinton Wins, She Won't Be Empowered the Way Democrats Hope

There may be no more shopworn and meaningless cliché in politics than the idea of election winners having mandates. Yet you hear about it all the time. A president who wins election by any margin large or small will claim a mandate to push through his policy agenda. A party that wins congressional majorities will claim a mandate to either support or oppose the president, depending on the president’s popularity or whether he is a member of the opposition party.

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The GOP After Trump: Another Candidate With His Destructive Platform Could Easily Rise Again

On Thursday, Fox News’ Eric Bolling interviewed Donald Trump, who said something that, had it come from any other candidate, would sound amazing to anyone who has ever worked on a political campaign.

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From Fringe to Mainstream: Conspiracies, Baseless Accusations and Lunacy Are the New Normal for Republicans

There has been a lot of speculation about what will happen to the Republican Party if Donald Trump, as seems more and more likely, gets crushed in the November election. The party has split into factions at odds with each other and seemingly adrift. Some Republicans are fleeing this orange-hulled Titanic of a presidential campaign as fast as they can launch the lifeboats. The fractures this election have created and exacerbated may not be healable.

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Don’t Worry About Trump’s 'Lead' Yet: It’s Too Early to Stress About the Polls

One day in the next three months, I hope some enterprising pollster conducts a survey of emergency rooms and doctors about whether they have seen a spike in patients suffering heart attacks or high blood pressure from reading all of the polls of the presidential race. My guess? The answer will be an emphatic yes.

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Hillary Clinton Is a Survivor: On the Eve of Her Acceptance Speech, Take a Moment to Acknowledge All That She's Overcome

Sometime Thursday night, Hillary Clinton will walk onto a stage in Philadelphia to formally accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. The crowd will go wild, as it always does at this moment in a political convention. People will cheer and wave signs. Maybe someone will bring a few vuvuzelas into the arena, in which case, God help anyone trapped in there with them.

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Poor Jeb Is Right for Once: His Brand of Conservatism Is Dead - And He’s Partly to Blame

For those of you who thought “Please clap” was rock bottom for the depths of sadness plumbed by Jeb Bush this election cycle, I present to you his interview this week with Nicole Wallace.

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Three Reasons Rumored Trump Veep Pick Mike Pence Would Be a Big Mistake

Given Donald Trump’s historic unpopularity as a presidential candidate, he might be well-served to choose a vice president who projects an aura of warmth and competence to compensate for his own lack of charm. If the rumors are true, however, he has instead chosen Republican governor Mike Pence of Indiana.

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Protesters, White Nationalists and Armed Delegates: What Could Possibly Go Wrong at the GOP Convention?

If you are in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention in two weeks, here are some sights you can expect to see:

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From Reason to Sheer Insanity: Orlando Mass Shooting Has Splintered the GOP

The massacre at a gay club in Orlando on Sunday has caused a fascinating split in the Republican Party to once again burst out into the open. On one side you have the conservative id, distilled into the body of presidential nominee and racist Cheez-It Donald Trump, along with his assorted sycophants. On the other side you have the leaders of the party who long ago abrogated their moral duty to their country and all notions of decency by falling in line behind and refusing to condemn the vile rhetoric of said racist Cheez-It, all because their fear of being yelled at by a bunch of Twitter eggs eclipses whatever ragged shards of humanity might have survived their years of service to the GOP.

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